It’s important to have some first aid materials for your bunny in case of an emergency or illness. We always hope that nothing will ever happen but it’s best to be prepared just in case. You can have the safest housing and be feeding them the healthiest way but accidents and illness can still occur.
Here is a list of items we recommend you keep on hand. We’ve included links to some of the harder items to find on Amazon. It’s best to get a container to keep all these items in so it’s easy to grab.
When to see a vet?
If there is ever an emergency beyond your knowledge please seek advice from your rabbit savvy vet. You can take your rabbit to the vet for an annual checkup once a year to make sure they are healthy. If you have adopted a baby bunny, it’s also highly recommended to get them neutered or spayed as soon as they can be. This is usually between the ages of 3 months-6 months. Every vet is different so call to ask how old the rabbits need to be. This will help with litter training or any behavioral problems.
To find a vet near you that cares for rabbits, refer to this guide. Rabbit Vets In The U.S
One of the most important things to invest in for your rabbits is their living area. Some people are not a fan of caged animals and there are other alternatives for you to house your rabbit in a safe area without having them caged.
Exercise pens are a great way to have a cage free setup and you can be more creative with the goodies you want to put inside their area. With cages you are restricted to what you can put inside because of the limited space.
This first pen below is nice because it’s inexpensive and you can attach more than one if you want to expand the space. Some rabbits can jump pretty high so we recommend getting a pen at least 36” high. The higher the better, so if you want to spend the few extra to get a 42” it would be a good idea! It comes with (8) 2ft panels so it’s 16sqft. These pens are light weight and easy to move so if you wanted to give your bunny playtime outside, you just simply fold it up and setup outside!
Click on the link ---> amzn.to/2Pxy8kY
This second pen is a more fun and creative way to plan your bunnies area. Each panel is separate and can be attached to make boxes to create multiple levels. Your choices are a 12 panel, 24 panel, or 36 panel package. The 36 panel is definitely the way to go price wise. This way if you wanted to start off with a smaller area for potty training purposes and gradually make it bigger, you’ve already saved by buying the bigger package. These pens are nice for indoor setups. They will be a little more difficult to move from inside to outside, so you may want to keep this pen inside and also purchase the exercise pen mentioned above for easy setup outside.
Click on the link ---> amzn.to/2wDNcWo
Some families feel safer if their rabbit is confined completely while they are out. Cages are acceptable for rabbits if they are the right size and also be sure they get time outside of the cage daily. The number one cage we recommend is the World Living Habitat XL cage. It’s dimensions are 4ft by 3 ft with plenty of head room. The entire top is rounded which gives them more head space and the whole top opens which makes it easier to handle your rabbit. Some cages that only have a door on the side makes it a little difficult to reach in and handle your rabbit properly. The Living World also has solid floor cages so no wires to harm your bunnies’ feet. One feature that we like about these cages is they come with a water bottle, food dish, and hay rack already. They aren’t anything fancy but they get the job done. You’re also welcome to replace those items with anything else as well. Our custom made litter boxes also fit into these cages. Even though these cages are spacious, rabbit still need to exercise. With any cage purchase whether it’s this Living World cage or a nice hutch, we always recommend getting an exercise pen as well and attaching it around the cage so they aren’t just stuck in their cage for most of their life. Rabbits need to run, jump, flop, and zoom!
Click on the link ---> amzn.to/2Px4LPW
Do you have a rabbit that is a chewer? Maybe they are chewing on wall base boards, carpet, or furniture? Well here are some tips and tricks to help!
Your Rabbits Area
How is your rabbit housed? I’m assuming most people reading this have indoor bunnies. Do they have complete free range of your house or are they fenced in a certain room or area? It can be costly to bunny proof your entire house but may be worth it for the time being. Confining them to a certain area or room is a good start to learning their behaviors and do some training. Be sure they have enough room and space to play in. If they are confined in a cage all day or most of their life, it will definitely play a roll in their behavioral changes and bad habits. Rabbits love attention and need attention like any living creature. If your bunny received a lot of attention when you first got them but then later down the road “life happened” and you drastically change how much they are interacted with, it could cause them to be bored or stressed and can result in bad chewing habits. Spend time with your rabbit in their area and be sure to give them attention daily. Try to be as consistent as you can.
Are They Spayed/ Neutered?
If you got your rabbit when they were still a baby, chances are they didn’t have a bad chewing habit. Most families get their baby bunnies home and all is well until about a month or two later and then behaviors start to change. It’s not always a bad change. Some families choose not to get their rabbits fixed and their personalities are great and they are still good pets. When some rabbits get into that hormonal stage, they can start chewing on unwanted things. Getting them fixed is the start to calming them down.
Every rabbit has a different personality. Not every rabbits will play with or like the same toys. You may need to experiment around with a different variety of toys until you find something they like. Luckily rabbit toys are pretty inexpensive and some are even free! One method to try is the “digging box”. If you have a whole sale store near you such as Costco, be sure to always grab an extra empty box on the way out! Rabbits usually love a digging box and it keeps them entertained for along time. You can fill it with newspaper, toilet paper rolls, or any safe material that they like to shred. Put the box in their main play area and monitor their behavior to see if it’s helped minimize the chewing problem.
All in all, rabbits chew and need to chew to ensure healthy teeth. Some chew more than others and you won’t really know until they grow out a little more and hit that hormonal stage. Try these tips to deter from any damage to your home!
Understanding rabbits and their behaviors is important when wanting to add them to your family. Rabbits do make great pets but they are not the same as your dog or cat. Read through this list of behaviors to educate yourself on bunny behaviors!
Binkying (Twisty jumps)- When rabbits are excited they will run, jump, and twist in mid-air. This is called a binky. Your bunny is happy and getting their exercise in!
Biting- Biting usually means they are angry or scared. If you are handling them and they really don’t want to be messed with, they could potentially bite you. If they feel threatened by anything such as an aggressive dog while you are handling them, they may bite out of fear. Give them space if you’ve been bitten and regroup later with a treat and head rubs. Never hit your rabbit. That will only make the bonding process worse for you and the bun! Abuse does not correct rabbits.
Buzzing sound- If your rabbit is making a buzzing sound, it usually indicates they are happy or ready to mate. Even if your rabbit is fixed, they can still make this buzzing sound.
Chinning- Rabbits have a scent gland under their chin. If you see them chinning things, they are essentially marking their territory. It does give off a smell but not strong enough for us humans to smell. So next time your rabbit starts chinning you, they’re saying “you’re mine!”.
Circling- Rabbits do this when they are looking to mate. It could be displayed as a courting behavior, or they just want your attention. A good head rub, quality time, and a treat will get them to stop. Until the next time that is.
Grunting- Grunts usually indicate that they are unhappy or angry about something going on around them. If they feel threatened they may grunt, scratch, or even bite. They are territorial of their things such as food, food dish, bed, ect. So if you are cleaning out their area while they are inside of it and they begin grunting, just relocate them to a different area while you clean. If your rabbit is grunting, it’s best to give them some space.
Honking- If your bunny is honking, then he/she most likely wants to be more then just friends. This is an act of courting. They also could just be happy.
Flopping- This is usually a very dramatic and entertaining action your rabbit will do when they are extremely comfortable and feel no threats at all. Not to mention it is adorable to watch! It usually starts out with a long stretch and then a dramatic flop to one side or even a full roll.
Frog legs- Your rabbits hind legs will be stretched out behind him/her into a frog shape. They are content, relaxed, and feel safe.
Leaving random poos in the house- Sometimes you will see random scattered poos here and there. These are territorial poos to let other animals or anyone in the house know that this is their area. Especially when they enter a new environment this may increase for a period of time until they feel like it’s “their” space. Simply vacuum or sweep them up as necessary.
Licking- If your rabbit is licking you this shows signs of complete trust. They love you!
Lunging- This mostly happens when they feel you are invading their territory such as reaching your hand in to feed them. They are being territorial. Some ways to get them used to it is to have a treat noticeable in your hand. Open the cage and let them run up to you before sticking your hand in. Slowly and gently hand them the treat just outside of the cage door. When they approach you, be sure to give them head rubs so they associate cage opening with something good!
Mounting- Sometime families adopt two bunnies that are the same gender and then they catch one mounting the other one and immediately panic thinking they got one boy and one girl. Not saying that it’s not true because it does happen a lot especially when you buy from an uneducated breeder. Although even the best breeders still have room for error. If you are ever worried about their genders, take them to a vet to have a professionals opinion. Mounting is to usually show dominance or if not fixed yet, they could be trying to mate.
Nipping- This can mean multiple different things. They may just want attention from you. Rabbits sometimes groom each other by nipping softly. It doesn’t usually mean they are angry. A bite is different then nipping. Nipping is a soft bite. If you are bit by a rabbit it will usually break the skin and hurt pretty bad.
Nose-nudging- When a rabbit is nudging you with their nose they usually want to be pet or they want you to get out of their way. If you are petting your rabbit on the head and stop, they may nudge you for more pets.
Playing- Rabbits play by grabbing their toys in their mouth and throwing them around. They also like a “digging box”. If you shop at Costco or any wholesale store that gives away boxes, grab a few next time you’re out. Your bunny will thank you. Fill the box half way with newspaper, toilet paper rolls, ect.
Ripping up carpet- Every rabbit has different behaviors. When you start off with a baby bunny, they are not hormonal so they usually don’t have any extreme behaviors yet. It’s usually a few weeks after you’ve brought them home that their personality really sets in. If they are digging up carpet try to have more toys for them in their area to deter them from scratching the carpet.
Screeching- If you ever hear your rabbit scream a high pitched sound, which is horrifying to hear, they are either in excruciating pain or extremely terrified. Some rabbits that are not very socialized with people may have trust issues. Never pick up your rabbit without them being aware of what you are doing. If they are asleep, be sure they are awake and alert before picking them up. Side note: Also educate yourself how to properly handle a rabbit.
Spraying- Males that are not fixed will nine times out of ten spray urine to mark their territory. When I say nine times out of ten, what I really mean is nine point nine out of ten times. It’s very unlikely that they won’t spray urine. Some females can spray as well but it’s more common in males. Females still leave urine as territorial markings but they usually don’t spray it out like males do. Getting them fixed will reduce their hormone levels and will likely stop them from spraying. It can take anywhere from one week to 4 months or in some cases even longer for their hormone levels to drop so don’t get too impatient or give up on them! Sometimes getting a higher litter box works great for the time being so any urine that is sprayed in the box will stay inside instead of spraying outside of it.
Thumping- This is usually a way of expressing anger or that they are irritated with something going on around them. Un-neutered males will thump when with a female to show dominance as well. It also could mean that they are wanting attention.
Tooth clicking- This light sound usually means they are pleased and content. Similar to cats purring, you will mostly hear this sound while petting your rabbit while they are completely calm and comfortable.
Tooth grinding- There is a difference between tooth clicking and tooth grinding. Clicking is more of a purring sound. Tooth grinding means they are in pain. Usually this will be accompanied by them looking very sickly. Hunched over, eyes closed, and not very active. If this is happening, immediately seek a vet.
I'm very particular on what our bunnies eat. The buns are fed organic non corn-soy feed and making sure their treats are healthy and organic is just as important! Here's a quick and easy recipe I made up the other day and I wanted to share it because it's so simple and easy to do!
Step 1. Find Silicone Molds
You can use pretty much any mold that suits your fancy. Just make sure its oven safe. Consider the size of your molds; you don't want them to be too big because you want treat sized bites. I like to browse Michaels craft store to find fun shaped molds. I'm sure Amazon has a large selection to choose from as well!
Step 2. Gather Ingredients/ Supplies
-1 Heaping cup of rabbit feed ( about 6 ounces )
- 1/4 Banana
- Sliver of apple ( I cut an apple into 8 equal pieces and use half of one of the 8 pieces )
- 1/3 Cup water
- Food processor
- Cookie sheet
- Set oven to 275 F
Step 3. Combine Ingredients
Add the rabbit feed to the food processor and blend as well as you can. The finer it's blended, the better the treats will stick together and hold their shape. Then add the banana, apple, and water. Blend until a paste forms. Firmly press the mixture into the molds. If you have a mold that has small areas such as rabbit ears, be sure to press down multiple times to really pack the mixture into it. This will give you the most accurate shape!
Place molds on a cookie sheet and bake at 275 F for 15-20 minutes. Remove and let them cool for a few minutes until you can handle the mold. Carefully remove the treats. There will still be moisture on the bottom side of the treats. To help them not fall apart and also to last longer, place the treats back onto the cookie sheet without the mold. Bake for another 15-20 minutes at 275 F. Remove from oven and let them cool. Store in a cool dry place!
This blog post is long overdue but since I'm getting a lot of emails from breeders lately, here it goes!
We used to sell to breeders but due to many different reasons, we no longer will be effective April 2018. I'm not against breeding, I mean I am a breeder myself. I do believe if you breed any kind of animal, they should be apart of your family and not just stuck outside in a tiny cage and fed twice a day. If that's how you are raising you "pet" bunnies or any animal, shame.
There are several people who are interested in getting into breeding. We all have to start somewhere right? When I first started out I googled A TON of information and Facebook also has groups you can join that cover just about any topic you can think of! It's one of my favorite sources to use. There are several good books out there to help you understand rabbits from A-Z as well.
Some good books I've read are "Good Rabbitkeeping" by Sue Fox. This book covers a galore of information like the different rabbit breeds, diet and nutrition, behaviors, taming and training, and breeding. Another great book is "How To Raise Rabbits" by Samantha Johnson. This book goes a little deeper into breeding and what to expect when you have baby bunnies and how to care for your does when they are pregnant.
Click on the link below to order these books!
Good Rabbit Keeping- amzn.to/2NaaJbO
How To Raise Rabbits- amzn.to/2oBsva9
I am not the rabbitry for you beginner breeders to buy your bunnies from because I simply don't have the time to answer all the questions. You may think you just have one question for me but I hear this multiple times a day. It's not only you. I wrote this nice long email to a lady who was asking about breeding her buns and told her about all the groups to join and books to read and she responded to me that she just would rather ask me because I was a good source. I talk to between 50-100 people per day now and it's only increasing so I have to direct my business in a different direction. I want to spend my energy and time answering questions to past adoptees and for people who'd like to have rabbits as a companion. I have helpers that come to socialize with our buns but I am the only person that responds and meets all the families that contact us. This is a full time deal for me 7 days a week. I offer to all our families that adopt a bunny from us that they can contact us anytime with questions and as Blue Clover has grown tremendously in just this past year, I have to sort through what I can and can't do. I am only going to be answering emails from past families that have questions or possible future families that are interested in taking home one of our babies to be a companion. I try to keep the website packed with information for everyone to read up and have an understanding of what it takes to own and care for bunnies. If you ever have any questions (not breeding related), that you can't find on the website please contact me and ask away!
I will vent a little on here since it's my blog... I get messages from people that say " I put my boy bunny in with my girl bunny and they had babies, what do I do now?" These questions irritate the tar out of me and no offense, how irresponsible can you be? Before you put a boy bunny and girl bunny together, do some research. They will breed even if they are related! Rabbits don't have a heat cycle, their eggs drop down when they are bred. So they can get pregnant anytime. PLEASE please please don't breed at all if you haven't done the research and preparation it takes to care for a pregnant doe and baby bunnies. It's sad how many messages I get on instagram from people that say " I just bred my doe, now what?" You will not get a response from me. Now there are some exceptions such as families that buy two bunnies from a breeder that are both supposed to be the same gender and then a few months down the road they unexpectedly have babies! It happens more than you know and I understand that it's not your fault! My best advice is read up and google questions. Maybe join a group on Facebook where many people have the time to respond to your questions. Or better yet, hopefully you adopted from a responsible breeder and you can contact them and they can help you. Sorry to say this....but you get what you pay for. Search and read sales policies and read reviews before buying a pet. Just because a bunny is $5 and the ad on craigslist says they are friendly doesn't mean they have good and healthy breeding does and bucks. Ask to see pictures or ask to visit. Ask questions!! If they can't answer easy questions than that is a sign. STAY AWAY!
Anyone that adopts a bunny from us can contact us at anytime with any questions. If it is health related, I can only give advice based on my experiences. I am not a licensed vet so I can't tell you what to do but if I have experienced something similar I will give you advice on what I did and then always say if you have any doubts of their health at anytime, to take them to a vet. I get potty training questions, bonding questions, and I've even had to coach people on how to hold their bunnies properly. I am here for you for the entire life of the bunny and I will support you the best I can! So if you are a family that has adopted from us, please don't be afraid to ask any questions even if it seems silly. I want you to be comfortable and confident in raising your bunny/bunnies!
So back on track to the no selling to breeders thing... We raise our rabbits to be completely social with us. We not only bond with our baby bunnies, but ALL of our adults as well. They aren't just "breeding stock", these are my babies. I spend hours and hours every single day spending time with them, talking to them, picking them up, ect. When it's nice outside I have several pens I setup in the backyard. They get to run around and eat fresh grass and dandelions. Not only are they socialized with but they have an 1,800 sqft house all to themselves that I just remodeled! Talk about spoiled... I know it's a bit much but it's worth it to have happy healthy animals with free range space. I don't know the conditions or how other rabbitry's raise their bunnies and words and pictures can be deceiving. I want to believe all of you and it's not that I don't believe some of you, but I have had a few bad experiences where I almost cried on my way home from seeing these rabbitry's. I am not here to blast anyones name so I will never give names of who these people are. But I don't want one of my babies that I so delicately hand raised to go into a breeding program and just get fed twice a day and a head pat here and there. That's not a suitable life for a rabbit. Again, not all rabbitry's are like this!! There are some really great ones out there from what I can see from their website and reviews.
The other day I had a very disturbing conversation on the phone with "the biggest rabbitry in America". Again I don't give names so I won't say it on here. A girl that comes and helps with our buns told me about them so I thought I'd check them out. They had some really cool colors but as I kept scrolling down on their bunnies for sale page, it literally never ended. I thought to myself...it had to maybe not of been updated or maybe they had some employees that helped out. Then they had a video of their setup. It was tiny cages and it just kept going and going with what looked to be like hundreds of rabbits. As I looked through the litters I could see the color of the dam and sire and babies and some were genetically impossible to get. I know I don't know it all so I went to my genetics Facebook groups and asked on there from the pros. So anyway... I'm talking on the phone with the owner because I had some questions. He said they had 135 breeding holland lops. 135!! That's a lot. He said they breed 6-7 does per week. So I asked if he had employees or how it worked. He said it was just him and his mom or maybe he said step mom. The point is, it was two of them. He said some other people would come over and cover if they were out of town or what not. This is when my heart sank. I asked him if he socialized with the baby bunnies and he responded with "oh yeah every day". He said they had 400 rabbits for sale right now!! 400!! People let me tell you there is no way on Gods green Earth that two people are socializing with these 400 babies every day. I have anywhere between 10-35 babies per month and when we socialize with them we don't just pet them while we're walking by to feed them. They have a run in our living room where I sit in and hold each of them and snuggle and talk to them. EACH individually. I can tell the same colored ones apart, that's how close I am to them. There's no way two people are "socializing" with 400 bunnies per day. I also asked him what size their cages were. He said they were 18x30 up to 24x30. I'm not against cages, but I am against those size cages especially with no free range time. I asked if the rabbits ever got to go in pens outside or taken out of their cages. He hesitated and trying to find his words said..."well....yeah about every two to three weeks we let them out for a little bit". TWO TO THREE WEEKS?! My heart is breaking just writing this right now. I could tell by the way he answered that he was lieing or just really had no idea exactly how often the bunnies were let out. Lastly I asked him about genetics, pretending I didn't know much. I asked how he could of gotten a frosty colored baby from a blue tort and black otter. He said "throw everything you think you know about genetics away. I've been breeding for 11 years and have had impossible colors come from my breedings." Genetics don't lie and there are some crazy things that happen but either he doesn't know his colors or he couldn't remember who exactly he bred to who. Or maybe I'm just being rude but this conversation really bothered me. I told him I was interested in coming to see his setup this summer and he said they don't breed too much in Summer, mostly just for Easter and Christmas. HORRIBLE!! People if you ever talk to a breeder and the conversation is anything like what I am describing right now...run. Some people say that they are rescuing the poor bunnies from that mill but you aren't. You are giving them business which they keep increasing their breedings. Their bunnies started at $250 so if you do the math and they had 400 bunnies for Easter and 400 for Christmas, that's $200k per year. This ladies and gentleman is called a bunny mill. If you have a different opinion I respect that and maybe this blog isn't for you to read.
Wow that felt really good to get off my chest. I will not name the rabbitry or their names so do not ask. I've given enough information that if you ever came across their website you will know what i'm saying!
So due to one thing after another, I can't imagine one of my babies being sent to a place like that or being housed in a tiny cage and never let out. I did cut back a few months ago and was just selling to breeders I have a trusting relationship with but then came the floods of emails how it wasn't fair that certain people got a bunny from me but they couldn't have one. So I just decided to cut it all off completely and my mind is made up. I still have people emailing me telling me they take good care of their bunnies and they are apart of their family as well. They are pleading to have one of our babies still. All I have to say is good! Keep up the good work and give breeders a better name! There are no more exceptions. We are selling to pet homes only and I would appreciate if everyone could respect my change in direction! I love seeing all the great things on instagram with certain rabbitry's and it fills my heart with joy! So keep up the good work and never stop improving your rabbitry, not for money's sake but to better the care you provide for your fur babies!
Due to the extreme demand for our bunnies, I have decided to add a few more does to our family of buns! Meet Luna and Piper! Luna's color is a chinchilla and Piper is a broken squirrel. I cannot wait to see the beautiful babies they will have this summer! Genetics has been really interesting to learn about and now that I have a grasp on it, I've been planning who I breed to who more strategically. There should be some new colors coming starting from actually TODAY following throughout this summer! We also should have a few more litters each month so for those of you that have been waiting, I hope this helps the odds of getting a baby from us!
We've started our bun mansion remodel on our 1,800 sq ft. shop that is going to be all for the buns! SUPER EXCITED! They will be inside and there will be updates on our instagram page under one of our highlights from start to finish! I get hundreds of messages a day which i'm now unable to answer to majority of them. My priorities are important in my life and family comes first and my buns are handled and cared for on a daily basis. I was starting to get to the point where I was sitting in front of a screen from morning till sun down answering every comment or message that came my way and a lot of it was the same questions. I hope our website can answer most of your questions and if you have any other questions about caring for or adopting one of our buns that our website may not answer for you, please contact me and I will get back to you! The best way is to fill out a contact form on the website or text me! Visit our contact page for that info.
I've been getting several breeders contacting me asking me questions about breeding and unfortunately I have to limit myself and set boundaries around how much I can do in a day. We no longer sell to breeders due to many different circumstances that I won't get into here. There are many good breeders out there and it's unfortunate for the ones that are irresponsible...also won't get into that here! If you are a breeder, you can google or even join a ton of groups on Facebook to answer your questions! That's what I do!
So back on track...
I am so excited for bun mansion to be fully renovated because we will be opening up workshop days that you will be able to sign up for! They will be geared towards the caring for and raising of a pet rabbit. We will cover topics such as what they eat, drink, toys they play with, housing setups, and the seriousness and joyfulness it means to be a bunny parent. And of course you will be able to see our bunnies and hold any baby buns we have at that time! There will also be a time for questions as well for non breeding purposes. If you are wanting tips and advice on breeding, these classes are not for that. They are directed for families that aren't quite sure what it all entails to own a rabbit and maybe want to come out and see different setups and have a realistic view of what owning a bunny means.
There are many many different activities we'd like to open up to do for the public but once the time arrives and there is a more concrete plan, I will make more announcements! SUPER excited for 2018 and you should be too! Here's some sneak peak pictures on the remodel at the very beginning!
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might!
I think a formal introduction is necessary finally! My name is Adriana and I am the owner/ operator of Blue Clover Rabbitry. It's important for our families and future families to know where exactly their bunnies come from and how they are raised. We have so many buns that are shipped out of state, and those families don't get to come see the atmosphere that their babies are raised in. I'm hoping I can explain and express in this blog the process of how babies are raised here!
There are so many different rabbitry's out there and each owner runs and operates differently. Everyone has their own opinion on how to raise rabbits but I wanted to dig a little deeper for you all to understand how I run my rabbitry and how our babies are raised! We handle our bunnies from day one when they are born. It is not dangerous for our bunnies to be handled when they are newborns because our rabbits are domesticated and we have a very strong bond to all of our does. They will not reject their babies like wild rabbit mothers would do. So when you see pictures of baby bunnies in my hand, don't fret! They are safe! Baby buns like to be warm when they are little, so even though they mostly just sleep, this is the most crucial time for bonding with them that will shape their future! We cuddle them up in the palm of our hands or tuck them in warm pockets. Did you know their eyes don't open until they are 10 days old?! That's such along time to not see anything! So their first sense is touch. Once you've created that warm and safe bond holding them in your hands, when their eyes open they can quickly associate that you are a safe zone for them. Bonding with them when they are newborns is a crucial part of raising rabbits here at Blue Clover!
Around two weeks is when the bunnies are starting to be alert and learning to hop around, which by the way if you haven't seen...is adorable! They don't have their balance quite yet so there's a lot of tipping over and rolling. A lot of pictures I post on instagram are of baby holland lops and we have so many people asking what breed they are because their ears are sticking straight up. Holland lops are not actually born with floppy ears. Depending on several factors, it can take anywhere from 2.5 weeks to 4 months. If they flop at 2.5 weeks, it's literally the cutest thing on planet Earth that you'll ever see... This stage is where it starts to get fun because they're responsive to you and since they're starting to eat solids, you can feed them strands of hay while you're holding them. I may have a little obsession with baby buns....ok maybe a big obsession! This is what I do full time 24/7. It's not a hobby, its a lifestyle. Sharing my bunnies with the world has been a dream come true and I'm so thankful how much God has really blessed it!
At three weeks old, the buns are running around and very responsive to their surroundings. This is usually when we take pictures to post on our website for upcoming reservations. One place rabbits love to be pet is right above their nose. Sometimes when you start, they don't want you to stop and if you take your hand away they'll come running and nudge you to keep petting them. To have a three week old do this to you is priceless. At three weeks they weigh about a half a pound...if that. They still fit in the palm of your hand and some may even start giving kisses at this stage.
We have play pens inside that they get to exercise in. Our buns are also beginning potty training before they leave. We've had some families say that their bunnies picked it up in one day and others, it's take a week or two. We do have information on our website about potty training, so if you want some successful tips or trouble shooting advice, check out our other blogs or "how to care for bunnies" page. The rest of their time here we just make sure to bond and hold each bunny every day. Our number one priority is social time each day with the babies, so when we have months where we have more babies, it may take us a few extra hours to respond to messages. My niece who is now 5 is a big helper when she comes to visit. She is so gentle with the bunnies and loves holding them. We also socialize them with our boxer puppy Bailey! It's important to us to socialize them together because there are other families out there that have other pets and it makes for an easier transition when they've already been in contact with a dog before. Our rabbits are not afraid of our dog and most of the brave little bunnies will go up to her on their own once they've had a few snuggle sessions.
I am continually seeking to provide better care for my rabbits. It's a continuous road of learning the do's and don'ts of raising them! A few things we've changed in the past year is adding apple cider vinegar to their water, which if you are interested in learning more about that, we have a blog post on the benefits to adding it to their water. We've also switched to an organic non soy-corn feed which has made a huge difference in their fur. A lot of people that come to see the bunnies always ask why they are so soft. The feed is one of the main reasons! We also are going to be busy bees remodeling our 700ft shop to accommodate our bunnies housing this Spring. Our online store may be small right now because bonding time comes first and since the demand has grown astronomically, we have a lot more babies to attend to daily. When there is a little bit of down time, that is when I get to sowing bunny quilts or making hay bin/ litter box combos for local orders. Youtube will be another thing being improved this year with videos of current babies and "how to" videos. If you haven't subscribed yet, do so! We have big plans for 2018 and can't wait to make the announcements as we hit each milestone!
God bless you all!
First you will want to buy a litter pan, but not just any litter pan. On the market for rabbits you will find these litter pans that are a triangle shaped which can be placed in the corners of your cage. These are not the most effective ones to use and I do not recommend them. If you do choose to buy one of the corner pans and you are having trouble potty training, switch to a square one. Try to find a pan that is stable enough that if they push their feet on the edge, it wont tip over. Rabbits usually potty where they eat so we’ve made a hay bin/ litter pan combo that you can purchase on our website or buy in person. These are the most effective ways to potty train and promote good litter box habits. The litter pan is contained inside the wood structure, so it can’t be tipped over. They just hop right in to eat their hay and do their business at the same time!
For litter, we recommend using a shredded paper or pellet form to absorb urine. Do not use clay-based or clumping litter as this is harmful to rabbits’ respiratory systems. Look for a litter that is odor absorbent, as rabbit urine has an unpleasant smell. Put a thin layer of litter at the bottom of the litter box- just enough to absorb wetness. If you do not have a hay bin/ litter box combo, we recommend adding a thin layer of straw to the top of the litter in the pan because rabbits like to chew on something while they’re in their litter box. There’s no need to fill it too high since rabbits don’t bury their droppings like cats. Plus, when you clean the litter box, you dump the entire contents out each time. Don’t fill too high or you will excessively waste a lot more litter than necessary.
You’ll want to limit their free roam space in the beginning to get them acclimated to their new area. Buying a puppy pen to confine them in one area is a good idea. As they are progressing in their training, you can open their space up more until they are fully potty trained. Then feel free to let them free roam with full access to their litter pan. If for any reason they start having accidents, retract their space again until they’re using their litter box. Some families have multiple litter boxes depending on how big of a space they have to run around in.
Here are a few other tips for those stubborn, “outside-the-box” bunnies:
· If an accident occurs, wipe up the urine with a paper towel and pick up stray poop and place both in the litter box. This helps get the message across that the litter box is the place that they should do their business. Keep in mind that rabbits are generally not 100% perfect with their litter box. Sometimes they leave a few droppings next to the box, or they urinate over the edge of their box. This is normal, so placing a plastic mat under their litter box or putting the litter box on a tile floor makes it easier to clean up these little mistakes.
· Bunnies here at Blue Clover Rabbitry begin potty training before they leave. Some rabbits pick it up right away within a day, while others may take a few months. Be patient and persistent! If you can see they’re about to go outside their litter box (they may lift their tail or sometimes they sort of shimmy down in a seated position right before they go), try to pick them up and put them in the litter box.
· If your bunny is insistent on going in one corner of the room, sometimes it’s easier to give in to their stubbornness, and place a litter box in that corner.
· If your rabbit is pooping/spraying pee everywhere, this is probably due to your rabbit marking his territory. It’s a good idea to get your rabbit spayed/neutered in order to calm down their hormones and lessen the likelihood of territory marking. Sometimes it can take up to a couple months for the spraying to stop so be patient. You can buy a litter box with tall sides to help avoid urine being sprayed out of the pan.
Even if your buns live outdoors, you can still potty train and we would recommend doing so for cages without a drop pan. This allows the cage and rabbit to stay cleaner.
We've had rabbits for so long and have tried just about every product out there for indoor and outdoor use. It's essential for rabbits to have hay every day and it's also a fact that they poop... a lot... every day...
Most of our bunnies are placed in indoor homes and I always recommend potty training them to make for easy clean up and better enjoyment to keep as a pet! Potty training is actually very simple and I have instructions on our " How To Care For Bunnies" page. Basically they poop where they eat mostly. We've tried using the metal feeders and as chew proof as they are; they aren't attractive and if you have them outside they eventually will rust out. In the past year we invested in plastic hay-food bin feeders which were cool because you could put your hay in the top part and pellet food in the bottom section. So instead of having a separate bowl and hay feeder it was all in one. They would get chewed through by some of our rabbits so it wasn't ideal but they were cheap so replacing one every couple months wasn't a big deal. But why keep spending money on something that isn't 100% working for my buns? Then there came the pooping part...
There are several different bins used for litter boxes out there and most of them will work. Every rabbit has a different personality so some people have had to try out a few until one worked. But why spend the money if you don't know for sure if that box is going to work for your bunny/ bunnies?
Some common faults on litter pans:
1. Sometimes there is a lip on the top of the pans and it makes it easier to tip over if the rabbits push their little feeties down on the side to hop in. Once it flips it's game on and your companions have just figured out a fun game. Have fun trying to keep them from tipping it over!
2. If you put the litter box next to their food, where it should be, than sometimes they can move it around their area and you are back to square one trying to keep in from moving or tipping over.
3. The corner litter pans have never worked for anyone I've known. If it's worked for you please email me and prove me wrong! Usually first time bunny parents end up buying the corner litter pans because that's all that's offered in pet stores in the rabbit section. I would advise not to purchase one of those.
And the moment you've all been waiting for.. here are our new hay bin/ litter box combos! We are just starting them and we've had so many inquiries, we are in the process of making them to sell in January of 2018. We build them by order so if you are interested contact us! We do not ship them. Local pickup only.
We got the idea from the owners of Pearl and Amethyst; their instagram is @bun.and.a.loaf! These buns boarded with us this Christmas and when they brought their homemade hay feeder/ litter box bin inside I just had to make one for my rabbits! They work so well and the reason I would never of purchased one if I saw it is because it's wood and I figured they chew on it. No chewing at all from their buns or any of mine! It also didn't matter what litter box I wanted to use because it can't get moved around or tipped over in the framed box it sits in. They have a modern chic style that will dress up any room your rabbit stays in. These truly do work and i'm excited for you to try one! If you have any questions about these, feel free to comment below or message me!
Proverbs 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.